Eve0810

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
London
Hi Everyone,

I posted in this forum a few months ago asking for help about Franks shell starting to pyramid. We took all the advice everyone suggested - so thank you!

He is a 2 year old hermann tortoise and now has an orchid bark substrate which we keep humid by spraying it with water. We also got him a new UVB stripe lamp and have improved his diet. He has a varied diet and eats things like lambs lettuce, watercress, ground elder and the ‘Komodo Tortoise Dandelion’ with calcium powder on a daily basis and nutrobol every other day, but we always switch up the greens (never more than one goitrogenic plant at a time). He also has calcium blocks to graze on and I have just ordered him some cuttle bone to try.

The temperature is around 31 degrees in the daytime and drops to around 27 degrees in the nighttime. I was wondering if we need a hide for him even though he lives in a viv? And if so does anyone have any pictures of theirs please?

He has 2 wooden bridges, they are quite big but he loves to hide in them, walk over them, push them around and sleep under them.

I saw recommendations for terracotta dishes as water bowls but the one we have is only 1” deep and he uses it often. We soak him twice a week for around 15 mins each time.

I was wondering if there was anything he could play with? He had a bright ball, which he liked for about 2 minutes and never looked at again. So I have ordered him a ball with holes in to put some food in and see if that will keep him entertained? I saw some people make mazes for their tortoises, so does anyone have any pictures of theirs?

Just wanted to update everyone that helped us a few months ago and welcome any other suggestions to improve his home and well being. His shell has not been pyramiding since we made all these changes which is great! We have also found a local exotic vet should we need to take him. I have uploaded a pic of his home (please excuse the mess he pushed all his bridges around lol) and a picture of him smiling which I love ☺️.

Thank you in advance
AE14B2DA-C5EF-45BF-AECE-C7D045226DD5.jpeg 7A8EB39E-A23A-4702-AED5-D7B1AAFE5250.jpeg
 

Tortisedonk7

Active Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
182
Location (City and/or State)
Indonesia
Glad you found success in adopting the advise from all these great people here. Your tort most definitely needs a place to hide. Some thing big enough for him to go in and turn around, and deep enough so it’s a little dark. In nature they would find or dig a hole, or hide in a hollow log to be safe from predators and feel secure.
Also it sounds like he is getting too much calcium. I don’t think he needs three varieties of calcium. Try the calcium powder once or twice a week and the cuttle bone if he wants something crunchy. I don’t have experience with the calcium blocks but sound like it may have too many undesirable additives.
Maybe someone else has some ideas for a ‘play toy’ I personally would not do it.
Happy torting!
 

Eve0810

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
London
That’s great, we will remove some of the calcium and find a hiding place suitable. Thank you so much!
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Whats your plans for your next enclosure? Your little tort is beginning to outgrow the viv, he will need more space soon, what is the adult enclosure/table going to look like?
 

Eve0810

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
London
We are hoping to move out next year and buy a larger viv. These are the dimensions of the largest one I’ve found currently: (cm): Width 115, Depth 49, Height 50. I’m struggling to find any larger than this one, but would prefer it bigger.
We wouldn’t be able to have a tortoise table as we also have a cat
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,588
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Hi Everyone,

I posted in this forum a few months ago asking for help about Franks shell starting to pyramid. We took all the advice everyone suggested - so thank you!

He is a 2 year old hermann tortoise and now has an orchid bark substrate which we keep humid by spraying it with water. We also got him a new UVB stripe lamp and have improved his diet. He has a varied diet and eats things like lambs lettuce, watercress, ground elder and the ‘Komodo Tortoise Dandelion’ with calcium powder on a daily basis and nutrobol every other day, but we always switch up the greens (never more than one goitrogenic plant at a time). He also has calcium blocks to graze on and I have just ordered him some cuttle bone to try.
]
Too many additives. A tiny pinch of calcium powder sprinkled on food 2-3 days a week is plenty. Don’t use anything else except the cuttlebone which he can chew on if he needs to (and it helps with beak maintenance too)
The temperature is around 31 degrees in the daytime and drops to around 27 degrees in the nighttime. I was wondering if we need a hide for him even though he lives in a viv? And if so does anyone have any pictures of theirs please?

He has 2 wooden bridges, they are quite big but he loves to hide in them, walk over them, push them around and sleep under them.
It needs to be 35-37 C directly under the basking lamp. Other wise temperatures sound fine.

Yes, a hide of some sort is necessary. Tortoises are stressed if they cannot seek shelter and hide away when they want to. It sounds like your tortoise is using the bridges as a hide. :)

Make sure the bridges aren’t a tipping hazard. Can he fall off and tip over? He may not be able to right himself.

I saw recommendations for terracotta dishes as water bowls but the one we have is only 1” deep and he uses it often. We soak him twice a week for around 15 mins each time.
The reason we recommend terracotta saucers is because the sides are sloped. Even a one inch vertical drop can be a tipping hazard for a small tortoise.
I was wondering if there was anything he could play with? He had a bright ball, which he liked for about 2 minutes and never looked at again. So I have ordered him a ball with holes in to put some food in and see if that will keep him entertained? I saw some people make mazes for their tortoises, so does anyone have any pictures of theirs?
Tortoises don’t play. Pushing something away is how they get rid of things they don’t want from their territory, eg other tortoises. It is actually a signof stress.

Enrichment in tortoise lives is a proper sized and properly set up enclosure with plants to browse on, things to hide under and substrate to dig into. Resist the temptation to let your tortoise roam the floor of your home too.
][/QUOTE]
 

Eve0810

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
London
]
Too many additives. A tiny pinch of calcium powder sprinkled on food 2-3 days a week is plenty. Don’t use anything else except the cuttlebone which he can chew on if he needs to (and it helps with beak maintenance too)

It needs to be 35-37 C directly under the basking lamp. Other wise temperatures sound fine.

Yes, a hide of some sort is necessary. Tortoises are stressed if they cannot seek shelter and hide away when they want to. It sounds like your tortoise is using the bridges as a hide. :)

Make sure the bridges aren’t a tipping hazard. Can he fall off and tip over? He may not be able to right himself.


The reason we recommend terracotta saucers is because the sides are sloped. Even a one inch vertical drop can be a tipping hazard for a small tortoise.

Tortoises don’t play. Pushing something away is how they get rid of things they don’t want from their territory, eg other tortoises. It is actually a signof stress.

Enrichment in tortoise lives is a proper sized and properly set up enclosure with plants to browse on, things to hide under and substrate to dig into. Resist the temptation to let your tortoise roam the floor of your home too.
]
[/QUOTE]

This is great! We will get a new basking lamp because it’s not that hot under ours and also order a terracotta saucer and something for him to use as a hide.
We will cut down on the calcium too and have removed the blocks already, just waiting for the cuttle bone to arrive.
He hasn’t fell off the bridges, but he probably could. is there any alternatives to them as he loves to climb over them?
Thank you so much for your help
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,588
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
This is great! We will get a new basking lamp because it’s not that hot under ours and also order a terracotta saucer and something for him to use as a hide.
We will cut down on the calcium too and have removed the blocks already, just waiting for the cuttle bone to arrive.
He hasn’t fell off the bridges, but he probably could. is there any alternatives to them as he loves to climb over them?
Thank you so much for your help
Making mounds out of the substrate will give him Something to climb.

Trying to stop them climbing onto (and face planting off) a hide is difficult. The hide needs to be quite tall on the exterior
 

Eve0810

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
London
Making mounds out of the substrate will give him Something to climb.

Trying to stop them climbing onto (and face planting off) a hide is difficult. The hide needs to be quite tall on the exterior
Thank you!!
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
These are the dimensions of the largest one I’ve found currently: (cm): Width 115, Depth 49, Height 50. I’m struggling to find any larger than this one, but would prefer it bigger.

Need to go bigger than this, 4ft x 8ft is a minimum for an adult. Have a look at grow tents. Grow Tent Enclosure | Tortoise Forum
 

gurgleblaster

Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
66
Location (City and/or State)
Charlotte
Currently redoing the hydroponics and planting for spring while she hibernates but this is my vivavirum esque enclosure. It has natural sunlight and smart thermostats to manage the heaters and misters. This is for one Herman's tortoise and is roughly 1m by 2m or a little over 3 by 6 feet during summer she also has an outdoor enclosure. If you can't get a bigger one make sure to take your tort outside a lot when applicable they love to explore and climb around and it is important for their excercise.

Why I do hydroponics in my vivavirum is they get fresh food that is constantly growing that they can forage for. The box has 1 foot of elevation change from bottom to top with lots of obstacles to climb. Climbing obstacles generally should be slightly bigger than the tort as they are exceptional climbers.

The outdoor enclosure needs bigger sides now that she has grown some that is getting scrapped

PXL_20210102_190500142.jpg PXL_20210102_192200726.jpg
 
Last edited:

gurgleblaster

Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
66
Location (City and/or State)
Charlotte
For an idea of how far these little torts can go her weather permitting walks go to the bottom of this yard and back up. They love to move around and explore. Also if you want plans on a hydro setup for under 40 euro or 50$ I can share my plans and was has gotten plants to grow on the cheap.

PXL_20210102_192703197.jpg
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top